Judge Sides With Broadcasters, Shuts Down Website That Retransmits Programming

Sep 6, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Aereo-like services that retransmit local TV programming over the Internet without paying broadcasters could be facing some serious problems, according to TheWrap.com.

On Thursday a Washington, D.C., judge issued a temporary injunction to shut down FilmOnX across most of the country, ruling that the service violates copyright laws, the story says.

“The court finds that the provisions of the 1976 [Telecommunications] Act that protect plaintiffs’ work are clear. FilmOnX’s service violates plaintiffs’ ‘exclusive right … to perform the copyrighted work publicly,” wrote the judge.

The lawsuit was filed by TV stations in Washington whose signals were being aired by FilmOnX, the story says, adding: “Other plaintiffs include CBS and CBS Studios, Disney, Gannett, Telemundo and Universal Network Television.”

The judge rejected FilmOnX’s argument that its “thousands of mini antennas, each tied to an individual subscriber, mean the company is not retransmitting a broadcaster’s signal,” the story says.

“The ruling is likely to set the stage for a quick appeal — and potentially push the case toward a Supreme Court decision if Congress doesn’t step in to clarify the law,” the report adds.

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